Chinese Chive Pancakes
Combine 2 cups flour and sugar in a food processor (see Tips). With the motor running add boiling water and process until the dough forms a ball and completely pulls away from the sides. The dough should not be sticky or dry. If it's sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour and process for a few seconds more. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water and process for a few seconds more.Advertisement
Remove the dough and knead with lightly floured hands for 30 seconds. It should be smooth and elastic. Lightly dust a medium bowl with flour, place the dough in it and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Lightly dust your work surface and hands with flour. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and cover with a damp kitchen towel. One at a time, form each piece into a ball, then flatten with one hand to make a thick disc. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll into a 7-inch round. Lightly brush with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Evenly sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons chives, then tightly roll into a fat rope. Tightly coil the rope, pinching the end of rope to seal. Cover with a dampened kitchen towel and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll each coiled bun into a 7-inch round. Cover with a dampened towel. (The dough can be held at room temperature, covered, for up to 4 hours.)
Lined a cutting board with several thicknesses of paper towels. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large heavy skillet (not nonstick) over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut (or grapeseed) oil and reduce heat to medium. Carefully add 1 pancake and cook, lightly pressing with a metal spatula, until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully turn the pancake over and cook, pressing with the spatula, until golden on the second side, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer pancake to the prepared cutting board. Cook the remaining pancakes, using 1 1/2 teaspoons oil per batch and adjusting heat between medium-high and medium, so that there's a constant sizzling and the oil gives off a wisp of smoke. (If there's lots of smoke the heat is too high.) Cut each pancake into 6 to 8 wedges and serve immediately.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare dough through Step 3 up to 4 hours ahead. Wrap cooled pancakes airtight and freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat (without defrosting) in a 350°F oven.
Equipment: 14-inch flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok
Chinese chives taste like a cross between a leek and a ramp with a garlicky edge. Trim the white stem end before using. Look for them during the spring in summer at farmers' markets and year-round in Asian markets. They can be used interchangeably with flowering garlic chives, yellow chives and “plain” garden chives.
If you don't have a food processor, combine flour and sugar in a bowl and stir in 2/3 cup boiling water. After stirring in boiling water, add a little cold water (1/4 to 1/3 cup) until a dough is formed and pulls away from the sides of bowl as you stir.
1 1/2 starch, 1 fat